Thursday, February 10, 2011

Slaying Giants - Entry 7

Using the historical account recorded in 1 Samuel 17 as a metaphor for the cultural battles raging in the nations we next read, “When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.”

The Philistines sent out their “giant” to taunt the army of the Living God, which produced the above response. Could it be that the church has often responded in a similar manner when it comes to facing the “giants” that capture the heart, soul and mind of our culture? I recall Francis Schaeffer stating to a large congregation that prayer was removed from our educational system and abortion was legalized in the lifetime of most of the people present. He went on to ask, “Where were the members of our educational, legal and medical community when these shifts were taking place?” Could it be fear of marring our reputation, fear of losing our jobs, fear of being defeated, fear of losing money, etc. that lies behind an unwillingness to face the “giants” of our age? Surely this is one of the factors and one that leads to inactivity that allows opposing forces to take ground that is not theirs to have. In 1 Peter 5:8 we read, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." A lion roars in order to freeze its prey in fear long enough to pounce. We are also told, in 2 Timothy 1:7 that, "…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Yes, it might be costly to step forth, walk in the power of God and, out of love, intelligently face the “giants” of our age. In fact, Jesus indicated that it would be necessary to count the cost if we were to become His followers. “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace. So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 14:28-35, NASB)

Is it possible that we have redefined Christianity and underestimate our God-given task of being stewards, guardians and watchmen of His world?

2 comments:

samoilbright said...

Yes! And notice Jesus is NOT telling US to count the cost in that passage. He is the King, and has counted the cost: with the battle He is fighting, the tower He is building as a signal to the nations, NOTHING LESS than total commitment and full faith is truly useful to Him.

ATI said...

In reference to the Luke 14 passage, the context is the "cost" of becoming a disciple, a follower of Jesus. Jesus makes reference to a number of factors one must take into consideration such as subordinating all other valuable relationships to our relationship with Him, calculating whether one has the commitment level, resources and strength necessary to continue to the end and the willingness to give up all possessions. Did He calculate a cost to do what He did? Yes, but the passage is a call for us to calculate the cost to us to follow Him.